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Roundtable to track authoritarian trends across Southeast Asia

The quality of democracy is under threat the world over, from the Americas to Asia to Europe. In Authoritarianism and Democratic Backsliding in Southeast Asia – a virtual roundtable on April 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET – panelists will discuss how rising authoritarianism is reshaping politics in Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Cohosted by the Southeast Asia Program and Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, part of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the roundtable will reach Cornellians based in Ithaca, as well as scholars and alumni in Southeast Asia. Registration is required.

“The term ‘authoritarianism’ has many different meanings, from nondemocratic rule to illiberal politics to a focus on order and law above civil liberties,” said Thomas Pepinsky, the Walter F. LaFeber Professor in the Department of Government, College of Arts and Sciences, and the event’s moderator. “The panel will provide an overview of the most important features of authoritarianism in their country of focus. This includes the historical or societal forces that have produced the current moment – and the implications for politics over the medium term.”

The event brings together four authorities on the politics of Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines:

  • Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Associate Professor, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
  • Mark Thompson, Professor of Politics and Head Director of the Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong
  • Ardeth Thawnghmung, Chair of Political Science, Professor, Interim Director, Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Eve Warburton, Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

The Southeast Asia Program is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for excellence in its regional expertise. Authoritarianism is a thematic priority area of inquiry for the Reppy Institute. The Einaudi Center’s global research priorities include democratic resilience.

Jessica Ames is program coordinator for the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

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